The economic activity reduced to essential has made it evident that immigrants are the pillars who support all industries that need to operate during the COVID-19 crisis.
Instead of criticizing the vast majority of immigrants, who continue to work “taking jobs away from Americans,” often in poor conditions and under the threat of the Coronavirus, it’s time to recognize that they are ensuring that the United States does not go hungry and have medical care.
As the nation reels from the economic shock induced by the pandemic and the economic disruption it will continue to cause, immigrants keep this country going.
It is time to offer them our gratitude, and instead of attacking them or constantly thinking about making their lives miserable, we should recognize them as true heroes.
The IHCC is committed to defending the interests of those who drive our country’s economic development, even in the most adverse situations.
The country’s strength
Millions of immigrants are on the front line of the crisis, exposed to contagion, without any health protection.
Most have lower incomes and larger families than those who were born in this country, but they do not have access to insurance or basic health coverage.
Two out of every 10 people over the age of 16 who work in this country were born abroad. At least 6 out of 10 are part of the workforce in essential industries during this pandemic, which includes the health sector, as well as logistics and food.
As proof, just look at the updated data from the latest major study by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
6 million immigrants have jobs in key areas on the fight against the Coronavirus.
Hospitals at Work
Of the 6 million 2.5 million are legal resident immigrants who work in the health care industry. They are doctors, nurses, cleaning staff specializing exclusively in health care, social services, pharmacies, scientific research, medical laboratories, and medical product factories.
25% of physicians in the United States studied and were born in another country. They also represent 60% of all professionals who serve in rural areas, bringing front-line services to nearly 50 million Americans living in communities of less than 20,000 people.
40% of health care workers who serve in nursing homes or provide home care are immigrants.
Nearly 65% of the cleaning staff that keeps hospitals operating are immigrants.
Food on your table
The United States has food on their tables thanks to the immigrants.
From 6 million immigrants 3.5 million have residency and work in supermarkets, small shops, agricultural sectors, essential product factories, service stations, logistics, and public transportation.
48% work in the food industry.
64% are agricultural workers (mainly in California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and Nebraska).
60% work in the meat processing industry.
29% work in warehouses and supermarkets.
40% work as drivers in subways, bus, and taxis (they ensure that essential service workers are mobilized)
Even in non-essential services
Immigrants are also the majority in the most important non-primary industries, which have been devastated as more people follow the patterns of social alienation. We talk about them being foreigners:
71% of restaurant workers.
39% of hotel workers.
48% of chefs and head chefs.
62% of service workers.
65% of construction workers.
A CNN study revealed, even without a job, nearly 70% of the 22 million workers who claimed unemployment insurance in March and April said they would not seek temporary work in other essential industries where immigrants are working today. No one is stealing anyone’s job.
This is not the time to confront each other. It’s time to unite and recognize the silent heroes.
That is and will remain one of our commitments at the IHCC. Our organization is concerned to advance economic development and fighting for a level playing field.